Tag Archives: Huber’s

Mag’s Wine Kitchen

Behind the hustle and bustle of Boat Quay, on Circular Road, is Mag’s Wine Kitchen.  Run by Mag, the woman who never forgets a name or face, this tiny wine bar/kitchen is another little gem of a find in Singapore.  The fact that it’s still around more than ten years after it has opened, I think, is also testimony to how good it is, in the city where food and eating is a national pastime and choices abound.

Walking in to Mags is like walking in to someone’s house.  The place is small – it only seats maybe 25 people – with the kitchen in full view at the back of the room.  The menu on the chalkboard is simple – never more than 5-6 starters and mains with usually a very limited special (we once enjoyed fresh umi from a dive trip that Mag just came back from – lightly steamed chawanmushi style).  Mag buys her produce from Huber’s, so you know what’s coming is going to be good from the get go.

And she very wisely keeps it simple, letting the produce speak for itself.  Last night I had wagyu beef tataki, flash seared on the outside, raw in the middle, wafer thin so that it melted in your mouth, simply dressed with a light vinaigrette and finely chopped chives with a delicate salad of cress and alfalfa.  D had the foie gras terrine – a generous block of creamy foie gras.  The boys had the lamb rack, which rendered them speechless while they tucked in.

I opted for a cheese platter – I have to say that I do not love everything so French – the three cheeses were … I can only describe them as “ripe” where I felt the acid strip the lining from the inside of my mouth.  A true cheese lover would probably have waxed lyrical about it but for me, the plate was left largely untouched.

Not to complain as they had a Masi Amarone 2006 for me to enjoy while I watched the boys tuck into their lamb.

Mag’s Wine Kitchen
86 Circular Road
Singapore 049438
General: 6438-3836

Monday to Friday
12noon to 2pm
Monday to Friday
6pm to 10pm

6pm to 10pm only
(Closed for lunch)

Closed on Sunday

I miss a good cafe breakfast on a Sunday morning

D and I used to enjoy a leisurely stroll to our favourite local cafe on a Sunday morning – a prerequisite to where we needed to live was to be no more than five minutes away from a good coffee.  In Darlinghurst, it used to be Tropicana Cafe, a bustling, busy cafe which made the best fried eggs ever, or Ten Buck Alley, which had arguably one of the best baristas (and therefore coffee) in town (with Latteria on Darlinghurst Road being a close contender for best coffee).  When we moved to Chippendale, it was Cafe Guilia where we would spend our Sunday mornings reading the papers.

People move, things change, and Singapore is a hard place to find a good coffee still (we have resorted to a Nespresso machine at home to try to achieve this), but pretty good breakfasts can be found, perhaps not as conveniently around the corner.

Normally we frequent Jones the Grocer up at Dempsey, which, being Australian, and pretty much exactly the same as the Jones’ that we used to go to, makes me happily reminiscent of being back home.

This morning, actually in the hope that we’d get some groceries at the same time, was breakfast at Huber’s at Dempsey.  Coffee, disappointingly weak, but the breakfast was delightful.  It’s a much quieter experience than eating at the packed and bustling Jones, and because it’s a little away from the main cluster of cafes and restaurants at Dempsey, it feels like you’re in a quiet ranch-type retreat, especially surrounded by all that foliage.

Huber’s is first and foremost a butcher and they’ve added a bistro where you can eat outside on the balcony (it’s shady and breezy for those of you like me who dislike eating in the heat), where you can get all the ingredients in your meals, inside.

The breakfast menu is limited, but who can complain when one of them is eggs, fried or scrambled, with bacon, pork sausages and grilled tomato?

The eggs have a deep orange colour (indication of being from happy, free-range hens who have the option of eating pigments found naturally in plants in the wild) and are perfectly cooked – the fried eggs had cooked whites with enough “wobble” in the yolk to dunk your bread, and the scrambled were light and fluffy and not overcooked.

The bacon was thinly sliced and not overly salty, which meant you could actually taste the flavour of the bacon, the tomatoes tasted like, well, tomatoes, and the sausages were lightly herbed pork sausages.  Even the bread we ordered in the bread basket was a light sour dough.  Perfect accompaniment to bring all the ingredients on the plate together.

And when you’re done eating, wander around inside and go nuts with all the wonderful meat they have in there.  We walked away with some spanish jamon and salami for pizzas, and a free-range, hormone-free chicken (I would have liked to be able to get an organic one, but this will have to do, in Singapore, for now).

Well that’s dinner for two nights sorted this week then !

Huber’s Butchery & Bristro @ Dempsey
18A Dempsey Road
Singapore 249677
Tel: 6737 1588